The federal minimum wage has been cut 2% in inflation-adjusted terms so far this year. It has been cut 20% in inflation-adjusted terms since it was last increased in 2009. It would seem worthwhile to get back to the discussion about how to increase it.— Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) June 16, 2021
The Economic Policy Institute has found "from 1979 to 2019, net productivity rose 72.2 percent, while the hourly pay of typical workers essentially stagnated—increasing only 17.2 percent over 40 years (after adjusting for inflation)." Dean Baker calculates that if the minimum wage had grown at the same rate as prodcutivity from 1968 to 2020, it would currently be more than $24 an hour
Low wage employees often are called upon to perform duties, sometimes even dangerous ones, which should be the responsibility of management. That came to mind with an incident in Georgia, in which the perpetrator and the Deputy Sheriff now are hospitalized in stable condition. However
DeKalb County police said Laquitta Willis, 41, was the victim in Monday's shooting at Big Bear grocery store in Decatur, just outside of Atlanta.
Willis was killed after an argument over a face mask, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.
The GBI said Victor Lee Tucker Jr., 30, of Palmetto, Georgia, entered the store shortly after 1 p.m. and "got into an argument with a cashier about his face mask" during checkout.
Tucker left the store without making a purchase but immediately returned, the GBI said. He walked directly up to the cashier, later identified as Willis, pulled out a handgun and shot her, authorities said.
Tucker then exchanged gunfire with a DeKalb County sheriff's deputy who was working security at the store, the GBI said.
DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said the reserve deputy was a 30-year veteran of the force prior to retiring and joining the reserve unit.
Tucker was arrested by two responding DeKalb County police officers "as he was attempting to crawl out the front door of the supermarket," according to the GBI.
With Democrats holding only a very slim majority in both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate, prospects for an increase in the minimum wage are slim. I don't know how much Laquitta Willis was paid, but, with the minimum wage in Georgia of $7.25 an hour, it probably wasn't a whole lot. Perhaps something dubbed the "Laquitta Willis Fair Wage Act" would change that. Coming out (presumably) of a pandemic, it's the least we could do.